Metal oxides are considered to be promising thermoelectric (TE) materials, especially for high-temperature power-generation applications, because they have many advantages such as low price, light weight, thermal stability, nontoxicity, and high oxidation resistance. For these reasons, oxide-based TE modules were fabricated using p-type pure Ca 3Co 4O 9 and n-type Ca 0.9Nd 0.1MnO 3 legs for power generation at temperatures in excess of 1000 K. This study involved the use of Ag sheets with a Ag paste as electrode materials and alumina plates as a substrate for the modules. The p-type pure Ca 3Co 4O 9 legs were manufactured by spark plasma sintering, and the n-type Ca 0.9Nd 0.1MnO 3 legs were sintered by a conventional process at atmospheric pressure. From a unicouple, a power density as high as 93.2 mW/cm 2 under a temperature condition of ΔT = 727 K (T hot = 1175 K) was obtained. This high power density is believed to be a result of the modified contact of the electrode (notch process) and the optimized material properties (the SPS process and a dopant effect) along with the high ΔT obtained in this study (reduced thermal losses because of good packing of thermal insulation). Areas of concern for future research include the following: (1) the measured open-circuit voltage from the present unicouples was only 94.3% of the theoretical voltage, and (2) the internal resistance value was as high as 490% of the theoretical resistance.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Energy Efficiency and Resources (2008EID11P060000) of Korean Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning R&D Program and by a Fundamental R&D Program for Core Technology of Materials (K0006007) grant funded by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, Republic of Korea.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Materials Chemistry